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Re: case sensitivity (was: Re: A sad case)

On Wed, Jul 01, 2009 at 10:47:37PM +0200, Roland Illig wrote:
> Alistair Crooks schrieb:
> > what's the driving force for having license names that are
> > case-sensitive? I can just see it aggravating users (and myself) for
> > no benefit at all. Sorry for repeating myself, but I don't get the
> > reasons, which is why I'm having such a hard time understanding it
> > all.
> The magic word here is "consistency". Almost everything in pkgsrc is
> case sensitive.

That's far from a convincing argument.  If you take every day life,
there are inputs you'd expect to be case-sensitive and some not.  It
depends on a lot of things.

Let me re-order this list

> * variable names
> * make targets
> * POSIX commands
> * command line options for the package tools (compare -v and -V)
> * all(?) enumerations in make variables (see pkglint's
> file, search for "{")

For all of those pkgsrc developers get to decide.  For that subset you
might argue about case sensitivity consistency, but even there they
don't have to be all the same just for the sake of it.

> * platform names
> * compiler names

Those are explicit references to external elements.  I'd say the case
sensitivity depends highly on what is referenced.  Both compilers and
platforms usually trademarks which means they tend to have a specific
capitalisation which might be interesting to keep;  now, the problem of
capitalisation comes from user input, and for some things there are
various ways of writing them that you can find around.

Licence names are typically an example of something you find in varying
forms all over the net.

> * package names
> * package options

Note that those stand kind on the fence.

In the end, from a usability point of view, I think user input should be
case insensitive whenever there is possible way for ambiguity.  And in
the cases where user input can be transformed into something for which
pkgsrc knows a canonical (as far as it is concerned) capitalisation,
I see no excuse not to make the input case insensitive because any
ouput can be properly written.

Quentin Garnier - -
"See the look on my face from staying too long in one place
[...] every time the morning breaks I know I'm closer to falling"
KT Tunstall, Saving My Face, Drastic Fantastic, 2007.

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